C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Property dealer goes missing
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 2
Barely three months after a financier and his four-year-old son disappeared on February 14 and were later found killed, a real estate agent went missing from the town last evening.

Family members of the property dealer, identified as Deepak Rai Saggar, aka Jagat Mama, said he did not return home after leaving it to visit one of his acquaintances at Maheshpur village in Sector 21.

Saggar, a resident of Kendriya Vihar in Sector 14, runs his business at Himalyan Estate Firm in the Sector 11 market, while his son has a construction company.

The black Skoda car of Rai could also not be traced. The police said both mobile phones of Rai with him were switched off since evening, while on scrutinising the call details of both phones, nothing foul was detected, said Inspector Aman Kumar, SHO, Sector 5. Even no record of car was found at toll plaza of Dappar, which proved that he did not go towards Ambala, he said.

Sameer, son of Saggar, said his father left home to visit Vinay, a resident of Maheshpur village. From there, he had a conversation with his mother Mamta on phone and he informed her that he was coming back after purchasing “desi ghee” for lighting lamp at a temple.

Vinay, who has a printing press, confirmed that Saggar visited him around 7 pm to discuss about the printing of visiting cards and thereafter left his home. While leaving his place after staying there for around half an hour, Rai went towards the nearby Ram Dairy, he said. The family, however, ruled out foul play, stating that he had no enmity with anybody.

“My father is very gentle and he had never any altercation with anybody,” said Sameer while talking to TNS. Neither his father was in dispute with anyone, he said.

“When my father did not return till at 8.45, we tried on his mobile phones, which were found switched off,” said Sameer, adding that with the passage of time, we realised that there there could be something fishy and we contacted the police around 10 pm. Wireless messages were flashed in and around the district, and inquiries were made at different hospitals, but his whereabouts could not be traced, he said.Rai is an acute diabetic. And it has added to the worries of his family members. In case he is not given insulin shots before meals, it would lead to health complications, said the family members.



Punjab board Class X results
Nishant tops in Mohali district
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
A student of Shastri Model School, Phase I, Nishant, was confident of making it to the toppers’ list when the results of Punjab School Education Board Class X examinations were declared today. Nishant secured 773 marks out of 850 and has topped in Mohali district. He has ranked ninth in the state.

“Success runs in the blood since my sister, Nancy, had ranked on the merit list, I also wanted to do the same, Nishant, who aspires to become an engineer, said.

For Shewta, also a student of Shastri Model School, success is in the veins. Her elder sister, Priyanka, had topped in the school in the Class X examinations two years ago. Shweta’s father Ashwani Sharma was happy with the performance of both daughters.

Similarly, Amandeep Kaur, a student of the same school, did her parents proud by following the footsteps of his elder brother who had topped in the Class X examinations.

Others who have figured on the merit list are Amarjeet (Shastri Model School), Mandeep Kaur (DAV Model Senior Secondary School, Kurali), Ramandeep Kaur (private student), Rajveer Kaur (Dashmesh Khalsa Public Senior Secondary School), Sapna Tewari (Paragoan Senior Secondary School) and Monika Dhiman (Lord Mahavir Gem Public Senior Secondary Model school, Derabassi).

Poor show by govt schools

If one goes by the merit list of the Class X results of the Punjab School Education Board, the government schools of the district could only show a 13 per cent rise in the pass percentage this year. While the private schools managed to bag all nine merit positions, none of the students in the government could make it on the merit list. The district is otherwise considered to be a VIP station.



Morinda girl third in state
Tribune News Service

Morinda, June 2
Renu Bala, a student of Shivanand Senior Secondary School, Morinda, Ropar, has secured the third place in the state in Class X result which was declared by Punjab State Education Board today.

Securing 781 marks out of 850, Renu has brought laurels to her school and made her parents proud. Youngest of the three siblings, Renu did not rely any tuitions or additional coaching. “If you have good teachers, there is no need for any kind of tuition,” she said. Her father Jagan Nath is a businessman, while mother Kiran is a housewife.

Her sister is a teacher and brother is pursuing MBA from Mandi Gobindgarh college. Renu wants to pursue commerce and she aims to be a chartered accountant. She used to study 7 to 8 hours daily and remained focused. 



Building Violations
Admn set to spoil club parties
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Chandigarh administration is set to tighten its noose on clubs that are on the wrong side of the law by not complying with the terms and conditions of the lease deed and have been violating the building and the land allotment norms.

The clubs that have come under the scanner include Chandigarh Club, Sector 1, Central Club, Sector 9, Chandigarh Golf Range, Kishangarh, and Chandigarh Golf Club, Sector 6.

UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said the administration was planning to amend land lease deeds and allotment profiles of these clubs.

"A survey has been conducted in which massive violations have come to our notice. Club managements are being conveyed to furnish the revised building plans with the department concerned. Once the procedure is completed, the terms and conditions of their deeds will be taken into account," he added.

Disobeying the original sanctioned drawings, the officials said, the clubs had encroached upon the government land for parking purposes, made amendments to their conference hall, kitchen areas or misused the basement without obtaining permission.

Some of the clubs were allegedly defying the “purpose” conditions also. The Central Club, popularly known as “House of Cards”, defies the terms and conditions of its lease deed, which describe the building as “community centre” for carrying out social and cultural activities only.

On the contrary, the club management had converted the place meant for “tennis court” into a “tavern” and “table tennis room” into a “card room”. As no clause defined the opening of “liquor bar” on the premises under the agreement, its bar licence was denied for renewal since March, but the card room was still functional on the premises, for which no official sanction had ever been sought.

According to the UT chief architect department, at the Chandigarh Golf Club, temporary sheds, front boundary wall, swimming pool covered with fibre sheets, construction behind the main building, temporary sheds made of cement sheets near the toilet block, canteen constructed in open area and occupation of more space on the ground floor, were all against the plan. The officials said the management would have to submit a revised building plan.

Similarly, the Chandigarh Club had made expansions in its kitchen area, dining hall and basement without getting the plan sanctioned.



Candidates for cops’ post held for cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Even before joining the police, they seemed to have learnt the traits of manipulation and manoeuvring for which men in khaki are infamous.

While a candidate was caught for allegedly affixing pads under his feet to increase his height during the physical efficiency test conducted by the UT Police today, five other youths, including an under-training constable, were arrested for impersonating and cheating, as the constable facilitated others to appear in place of the candidates in the test.

The police said Satbir Singh of Sonepat district was caught for affixing rubber pads under his feet to increase his height. He had qualified in the 1-mile race, after which he was subjected to height measurement.

“He participated in the race wearing shoes and when he was asked to remove his shoes for measuring his height, he was hesitating to remove his shoes before the inspecting officer. Doubtful of his behaviour, the officer asked him to remove his shoes and found he had affixed rubber pads with some adhesive under his feet,” said sub-inspector Hans Raj, the investigating officer of the case.

A case of attempt to cheating has been registered against Satbir Singh in this connection. The police has taken the rubbers pads into its custody as a case property and sealed them for evidence. About the other incident, the police said Dinesh Kumar of Mahendergarh, an under training constable, was arrested along with four candidates, Somveer, Dinesh Kumar and Shamim Khan of Jind and Satinder of Panipat on charges of attempt to impersonation, cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The police said under-training constable Dinesh Kumar was assigned the duty of checking call letters and verifying the photographs of the candidates appearing for the physical efficiency test. He allowed Shamim Khan, who had already qualified in test on Monday, to appear for Satinder. Similarly, he allowed Dinesh Kumar to appear in race in place of Somveer.

The SHO of the Sector 26 police station inspector Raghbir Singh said the cheating came to light when the supervisory officer verified the documents and detected the unfair practice. All six accused were produced before a local court, which remanded them to judicial custody.


Bus route viability of UT-Haryana to be studied
Speed governors with maximum speed limit of 50 km/hr to be installed in school buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
In order to provide connectivity and to facilitate the public, the UT Director Transport and GM, Haryana Roadways, will conduct a viability study of the detailed routes to be exchanged between Chandigarh and Haryana.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting relating to reciprocal transport agreement between Chandigarh and Haryana, held under the chairmanship of UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas.

It was decided in the meeting that while taking final decision on the routes, focus should be on the public convenience and also on the shortest possible routes. The policy of National Capital Region (NCR), Delhi, regarding inter-state/intra-state operation may be studied in this regard.

At present, Haryana is running 1,764 km per day in Chandigarh, while Chandigarh is operating 2,762 km per day in Panchkula. Trips of Haryana buses in Chandigarh are 168, while trips of CTU buses in Panchkula are 344. Haryana has intended 4,612 more kilometres in Chandigarh, whereas CTU has intended 5,302 more kilometres in Panchkula.

On the issue of school buses, it was agreed upon to install speed governors with maximum speed limit of 50 km/hr in all the buses plying between Panchkula and Chandigarh.

Keeping in view the policy of Chandigarh to phase out the existing auto-rickshaws running on petrol or diesel by August 31, 2009, it was agreed upon by Haryana to start the similar kind of auto-rickshaw service to be run on LPG or battery only.

Haryana also agreed to open 2 LPG fuelling stations in their territory so as to provide better facility to those auto-rickshaw operators, who intended to ply their vehicle on LPG fuel.



AC mini buses fail to get expected response
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
The Chandigarh administration’s decision to run AC mini buses seem to be 
nothing more than “flash in the pan”. Since May 14, the day this service was launched, it has failed to pick the expected response due to the gloomy execution planning on the part of the transport wing of the administration.

Ironically, hardly any exercise was done to let the public aware about its route, rates and timings.

Though the administration has made some alteration in some of its routes, but hardly any public notice about this recent development was in sight.

Nevertheless, in a recent endeavour, the administration has decided to install “digital display” on the top front panel of the bus about the bus number, its route and timings.

Confirming this, Home Secretary-Cum-Secretary Transport Ram Niwas agreed that proper communication procedure to the commuters need to be revamped. “The digital display on the front panel of the buses would be programmed with all information about the bus service in elaborate manner. Beside this, I have instructed the transport department to provide the information in detail at all the bus stops and at bus counters both at the ISBT-17 and the ISBT-43.”

Meanwhile, in the wake of High Court break, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking has discontinued the route towards High Court and service of Bus no. 206 (ISBT 43 to IT Park) and 203 (ISBT 17 to Railway Station) has been extended to Manimajra.

MN Sharma, Director, CTU, opined that since public convenience was the prime motive, the routes from where we get lukewarm response could not be discontinued. “There is only one single lady passenger on the airport route, but the service is essential we cannot discontinue it. Similarly, during noon, some buses run with five or six passengers only, but during the evening hours, I have been intimated that the occupancy rate gets enhanced up to 75 per cent,” he added.

Sources in the transport department revealed that for the first week, the four buses on route no 207 (Sector 18 to High Court) could generate only about Rs 53,000 and three buses on route no 206 (ISBT 43 to IT Park) could bring in Rs 54,000.

Similarly, the two buses, each on route 201 (Airport to PGI) and route 203 (Railway Station to ISBT 17), could generate just Rs 23,425 and Rs 22,815, respectively.

Ravinder Pathak, general manager, CTU, said this service had been offered on trial basis and the deficiencies were being looked into. “We have discontinued the High Court route service because just today, the bus could bring in only Rs 2,900. Similarly, we are observing the routes, from where these buses get cold response. The buses will never be discontinued but their routes can be restructured,” he said.



Tribune Impact
Pb govt rolls back decision to vacate training centre
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Students and employees of the Centre for Training and Employment of Punjab Youth (C-PYTE) in Sector 42 today had reasons to smile. For the Punjab government today rolled back its decision to vacate the premises and ordered status quo with the institute.

The state government was compelled to revoke the orders of evacuation, when The Tribune highlighted yesterday how the institute had been forced to vacate its premises and had been shifted to the dilapidated basement of the building, meant for car garage and store.

Confirming this, Joint Secretary, Sports and Youth Services, Punjab, Daljit Singh, on whose orders the premises was got vacated, said, “The earlier orders have been made null and void and the institute would run from its original office building,” he said.

Nevertheless, the employees and students of the institute today placed back the office belongings to its original place. Brig GJ Singh, Director of C-PYTE, said, “It was quite shocking to displace us on the pretext that the institute has now been segregated from the sports wing,” he said.

“How could they forget the achievements and importance of this institute, which has generated employment opportunities to over 1.75 lakh youth till date,” he added.

It is evident to mention that in 1990s, the then Governor of Punjab had allotted 1.5 acres of this land free of cost jointly to the Punjab Yuva Bhawan and the C-PYTE.

The official states show that there has been over 65 per cent absorption rate of these students with various firms after they honed their skills in various vocational streams like computer applications, carpentry, house wiring, automotive mechanism, welding and plumbing etc. This is, beside the recruitment of over 7,000 students getting employment with the various defence and Paramilitary forces.

In year 2008-09, as many as 4,703 students were able to secure their future in various fields. A total of 1,608 students were absorbed by the Army and Paramilitary forces, and 1,627 were succeeded in generating self-employment avenues. The institute, with the grant-in-aid from the Punjab government, provides free boarding and lodging to the students, beside the stipend.



City likely to get more representative advisory council
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Chandigarh can finally hope for a new-look, more representative Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC). With power equation in the city administrative circles undergoing a sea change in the wake of the elevation of local MP Pawan Bansal to the rank of the Cabinet minister, a widely accepted AAC is in the offing.

Though Administrator SF Rodrigues will have the final say on the nomination of the members, various lobbies and pressure groups could no longer be ignored in the recasting of the council. The administrator recently ordered the AAC's reconstitution, apparently bowing to the directives of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

In fact, the previous AAC, whose two-year term expired on February 9, 2009, without holding even a single meeting, was packed with bureaucrats and "favourites" of the powers that be.The non-representation of a wider section of society, including political class, was resented by a cross section of society, inviting allegations of partisanship against the administration top brass.

"To be effective, the new AAC should represent various interests, including from politics, business, administration and armed forces," says Subhash Chawla, a former Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh(MCC), who has been member of several AACs in the past.

In the past years, the AACs have represented a cross section of society and its advice had gone a long way in the formulation of the policy decisions. However, the council seemed to have lost its relevance with the last meeting of the AAC being held on May 7, 2006.

Sources said Bansal's say in the recasting of the AAC would be visible in the days to come.And to avoid any controversy over "less representation" to the political class, the administration may go in for a "compromise formula", which means keeping Bansal happy. This would mean more representation to the Congress and other political parties than in the previous council.

The AAC, with Administrator as chairman and Adviser as the vice-chairman, has senior bureaucrats and public representatives, including administrative secretaries, IGP, SSP, MC Commissioner, Mayor, Deputy Commissioner, chairmen of zila parishad and panchayat samiti, as the ex-officio members. Besides, other members consisted of eminent persons from all walks of life and representatives of major political parties.



Talk on Anti-Tobacco Act
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 2
To observe the anti-tobacco week, a seminar was organised jointly by the district health authorities, Kalgidhar Sevak Jatha and Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle at Government College in Phase 6 here on Saturday.

A debate competition and a discussion on Anti-Tobacco Act was also held.

District health officer SP Surila stressed on the need to implement the Act. President of the Kalgidhar Seval Jatha JP Singh assured full cooperation to the health authorities to implement the Act.



On quit-tobacco mission at 77
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Usually one would find septuagenarians spending most of their time in keeping themselves fit, be it with a regimented lifestyle or trips to doctors. One would, however, not expect them to be roaming around on the Sukhna lake and asking people to do something better in their life, say quit smoking.

Well, that’s what exactly this 77-year-old man, GS Virdi, did on the No-Tobacco Day on Sunday. People who lit up cigarette on the sly on the lake were in for a surprise when this lean man, wearing a white T Shirt, with words, “Jeena hai to ciggrette choro” in Punjabi embossed on it, advised them to say goodbye to this “bad” habit.

While some threw the cigarette out of sheer respect for the man, some did promise to give a serious thought to his advice and also promised to quit smoking soon, if not immediately. Virdi’s mission did not end with his visit to the lake. It was in fact a beginning of what he terms a “crusade”. He started mobilising people against tobacco and convinced 38 non-smokers for signing a pledge to persuade at least five smokers not to use tobacco. His crusade aims to break the chains of nicotine addiction.

“Leaving tobacco is definitely a challenge, as people do not understand when do they get addicted to it. It’s only after not taking it for several days that the person starts missing it. I hope this chain will help them out,” says Bhupesh, a resident of Sector 18, who signs the pledge to convince at least five people, who smoke a lot.

Akhshit Gupta said, “I hope this chain will persuade people that smoking kills, not just them but also those whom they love through passive smoking.” “Getting rid of tobacco might not be easy but not impossible. All you need is a strong determination,” this was the message, which GS Virdi gave to all smokers on the occasion of the World Anti-Tobacco Day.



Tribune Impact
PU mess contractors fined

Chandigarh, June 2
Following the news report in Chandigarh Tribune about PU mess contractors buying low quality cheese from local villagers, Panjab University has slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on the contractors. 

The PU constituted a committee to avoid such incidents in future and as per its recommendations, a government agency will soon be roped in to provide milk products to university hostels. The mess contractors were found guilty of purchasing uncovered cheese from two cyclists who were caught delivering these at hostel’s doorstep. — TNS



Mythical Hindi play ‘Ila’ staged
SD Sharma

Panchkula, June 2
A mythical Hindi play “Ila”, staged by Sandli Pairan Kala Kendra at Inderdhanush auditorium, provided a grand finale to the ongoing five-day TFT Summer Theatre Festival, here today.

While the audience relished plays on diverse themes like the crisp comedy laced with humour and satire and debating socio-cultural issues in the contemporary life, the concluding play “Ila,” based on the collage of myths from Bhagat Puran, offered a slice of the mythical world.

Written by Probhakar Shortiya, the play progressed under the able direction of acclaimed thespian Milkhy Ram Dhiman to depict the eventual clash between the law and forces of nature versus man’s attempts to achieve his pursuits even by going against nature.

The Raja is adamant to get her newly born daughter Ila, after a yagna, for transformation to a male prince, who could be the heir to the crown. With many such twists and turns, the play brings alive the agony, inner turmoil that the protagonist goes through as a husband, as a son, as a wife, as a mother and most importantly, as a human being.

'Ila' deals with some important aspects of human life-deterioration of marital bonds, materialism in relationships and alliances formed in times of strife, against a backdrop of political planning, plotting, scheming and deceit. Lead actor Sandeep Chatterjee (Manu), Namrata (Ila), Neeru (Shradha), Sonali, Viabhav and Shanker Singh formed the cast.

Earlier, TFT president Madan Gupta Sapathu welcomed chief guest SK Setia, who felicitated eminent thespian Kamal Arora for his glorious contribution to theatre during his illustrious theatre career, spanning six decades.

In a rare gesture, noted philanthropist Surinder Singla, who claims to have seen the play “Court Martial” over 100 times presented mementos to all the artistes. TFT president Madan Gupta and director Sudesh Sharma offered their gratitude to backstgae artistes, actors and 
the audience.



Varsity’s name change puts students in a fix
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 2
Resentment prevailed among students of IBS in the Industrial Area Phase VIII here today who alleged that they had been misled by the management regarding the affiliation of the institute.

The students said they had applied for admission in MBA in January and each student deposited Rs 80,000 fee. But the authorities concerned failed to inform them that the degrees awarded after completing the course would not be of the ICFAI University, Dehra Dun, but the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India University (ICFAI), Tripura, they said.

They added that the Tripura University would be giving them degrees for distant learning and did not consider them as regular students.

They further said if the institute even refunded the amount that the students had deposited, they would lose a year because the admissions in other institutes were over. The management had assured them to solve the problem within 10 days, they added.

However, dean of the institute Bhagat Ram said there was no difference between the Dehradun University and Tripura University. Only the name of the place had been changed, he added.

Moreover, the institute was a brand name in itself and about 18,000 students had passed out from the institute so far.

He said 240 students were enrolled this year and their classes would start tomorrow.



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